Forum Index            

Cookies Consent Information
SelectSmart.com®
Before you decide
Over 20,000 selectors

Join to post comments.
Share
Try These Selectors:
Best college values

Good jobs in gig economy

Right religion for you

Presidential candidates

Best US city for you

Know your philosophy

Landmark decisions
Is your name welcomed below? Then you can post here. Otherwise, click "Log In" to post!
Welcome! » Log In » Create A New Profile

Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...

Posted by tuk22 
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 05:05AM
Quote

Guys, I'm not defending this argument... I'm trying to understand it... And you are not helping me at all...

And I'm just trying to give you my reasons as to why I don't find Plantinga's argument very persuasive. However, if we're not speaking the same language, that is, if the meanings of the terms we're using are vastly different, we're not going to get very far.

Quote

Islander, If materialism = no supernatural intervention, does it not imply 'everything that exists is matter/energy'?

Not at all. Unless one dismisses such things as life, consciousness, and in this discussion particularly, 'beliefs', etc, as non-existant, and all that actually exists are atoms pushing each other around according to certain descriptive laws( and that would be one way of describing materialism). From what I can tell, Plantinga, at least seems to accept that these other things have some sort of existence as well. However, he seems to be arguing that a belief, for instance, as opposed to being determined by a conscious subject capable of making observations, experimenting, weighing the evidence and coming to a conclusion (a belief), a belief is, instead, determined directly by evolution in the same way that evolution produced the eye. And since evolution doesn't select for 'true' beliefs, but only selects beliefs that result in adaptive behavior by an organism, our beliefs are not likely to be "true". That is, they are unlikely to conform to reality (this is where I disagree with him). A part of the incoherency of his belief, in my opinion, is that in order to be consistent, Plantinga would have to abandon that belief since it's unlikely to be true.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 05:47AM
Then you have to explain when you say something is incoherent to you... e.g. My use of the term 'energy'. Do I need to qualify here? Quantum energy field? Is that better?

You know I'm an a priori knowledge guy, but I have always considered myself a determinist and somewhat of a materialist...

Not at all. Unless one dismisses such things as life, consciousness, and in this discussion particularly, 'beliefs', etc, as non-existant

No. Caused by physical processes. These things exist as NP.

and all that actually exists are atoms pushing each other around according to certain descriptive laws( and that would be one way of describing materialism).

Materialism isn't incompatible with QP. The QEF is a physical property.

A part of the incoherency of his belief, in my opinion, is that in order to be consistent, Plantinga would have to abandon that belief since it's unlikely to be true.

Plantinga argues God here... But there is other arguments. Mainly... don't believe in materialism... Accept methodological materialism... I've said this from the start...

I would have never thought materialism (screw it, I think it's coherent even if you don't =P) has this tension. I understand there is the Qualia problem for materialism, but so what? There is no logical implications just because materialism cannot account for it... Plantinga's argument is different in that it seems to create real tension... It begs you to give up the belief...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 03:12PM
Quote

A part of the incoherency of his belief, in my opinion, is that in order to be consistent, Plantinga would have to abandon that belief since it's unlikely to be true.---isle

Plantinga argues God here... But there is other arguments. Mainly... don't believe in materialism... Accept methodological materialism... I've said this from the start...tuk

So, basically, Plantinga's, argument boils down to something like this; The belief that God exists can be relied upon as being true because God exists, since it would be the case that if God doesn't exist, one's belief in the existence of God, and most of most of one's other beliefs, would likely not be true. Therefore, it is irrational to believe God doesn't exist. However, if God doesn't exist, the 'belief' that God doesn't exist would be more likely to be false, and it's irrational to believe something that's not likely to be true."---

You really don't see the incoherency and circular reasoning in his argument?

Quote

I understand there is the Qualia problem for materialism, but so what?

Because, as I stated earlier, if I hold the belief (Qualia) that the bridge is safe, I'll walk across it. If I believe the bridge is not safe, I won't walk across it. Plantinga, apparently is arguing that the content of our beliefs ((Qualia) has no effect on our behavior, I'm arguing the opposite. How did I arrive at my belief in the safety of the bridge? By conciously(again Qualia) weighing the evidence presented to me by my senses, and coming to a conclusion. Might that conclusion be false? Yes, infallibility is not a part of my claim. But if my belief that the bridge is safe is not true (it does not conform to reality) I will be eliminated. The person with the true belief will be the one who survives. People whose beliefs conform to reality will be more likley to survive than those whose beliefs do not conform to reality.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 07:38PM
So, basically, Plantinga's, argument boils down to something like this..

God is not a part of the EAAN. But yeah, he will argue something like God desires us to have reliably true beliefs (or something like that) but I'll let him defend it... But again, God isn't the only argument... 1. is to have a practical view of materialism 2. Is other philosophical beliefs eg A philosophy of information (everything is information) that replaces certain materialist/immaterial/idealist concepts.

Because, as I stated earlier, if I hold the belief (Qualia) that the bridge is safe, I'll walk across it. If I believe the bridge is not safe, I won't walk across it.

And Plantinga will agree that content matters, but not in a materialistic worldview. Think about that belief for a sec... Instinctive animals, like dogs, will instinctively walk across the bridge, or not, and know if it's safe, or not, without having any belief (content) about the bridge.

There seems to be an issue with instinctive beliefs... or beliefs/thoughts contemplated after certain instinctive actions. You would think given M & E those particular beliefs would be reliable... e.g. heightened sense of fear from a predator, uneasiness of heights...

But if my belief that the bridge is safe is not true (it does not conform to reality) I will be eliminated. The person with the true belief will be the one who survives. People whose beliefs conform to reality will be more likley to survive than those whose beliefs do not conform to reality.

And Plantinga is not discussing individual beliefs... Given materialism, what is the probability that all our beliefs including evolution are likely to be true... And I showed a distinction should be made between higher order beliefs and instinctive actions...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 08:24PM
Friggning navel gazing. Seriously tuk you still think evolution is a belief? Islander that alone would make you say why bother arguing when presented with those sort of statements. Guys once again evolution is totally ignored and you dance the endless dance of "I don't need physical proof' philosphy because it lets me make up sh8t that I can't prove to be true.I can prove that evolution is true like I can prove gravity is true


News flash your use of the word "materialism" is laugable to any theorical physicist. To a theorical physcist the word materalism is meanless who can you not know this, continue arguing over an anarchanstic word like materialism is ridiculous.


Great job cherry picking my post tuk btw.

Notice you ignored the QA crack and I love you retort on as to how evolution of the neo-cortex aka self awareness gave rise to belief in the supernatural.

And you also ignore the fact that there are degrees to belief.

And you also ignore that NP benefits from belief.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 08:59PM
FF,



Seriously tuk you still think evolution is a belief?

I think people have the belief that evolution is true... I don't follow you here...

Guys once again evolution is totally ignored and you dance the endless dance of "I don't need physical proof' philosphy because it lets me make up sh8t that I can't prove to be true.I can prove that evolution is true like I can prove gravity is true

I don't need evidence to believe in logically necessary truths...

News flash your use of the word "materialism" is laugable to any theorical physicist. To a theorical physcist the word materalism is meanless who can you not know this, continue arguing over an anarchanstic word like materialism is ridiculous.

Why?

Notice you ignored the QA crack and I love you retort on as to how evolution of the neo-cortex aka self awareness gave rise to belief in the supernatural.

Something gave rise to the belief in the supernatural... I won't argue against the evolution of the neo-cortex... That seems like a fine explanation...

And you also ignore the fact that there are degrees to belief.

Sure. We all have different levels of confidence in our beliefs...

And you also ignore that NP benefits from belief.

How so?
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 10:21PM
Quote

God is not a part of the EAAN. But yeah, he will argue something like God desires us to have reliably true beliefs (or something like that) but I'll let him defend it... But again, God isn't the only argument...

Yes, Plantinga does argue the need for God (supernatural intervention) in order for us to have true beliefs, in defending his argument for EAAN Plantinga asserts that, "this doubt arises for naturalists or atheists, but not for those who believe in God. That is because if God has created us in his image, then even if he fashioned us by some evolutionary means, he would presumably want us to resemble him in being able to know; but then most of what we believe might be true even if our minds have developed from those of the lower animals." [Alvin Plantinga, Evolution vs. Naturalism, 2008] --- I'm giving you my reasons why I am not persuaded by his arguments and why I don't think he demonstrates that atheism is irrational.

Quote

And Plantinga will agree that content matters, but not in a materialistic worldview.

Like I said earlier, the so called 'materialistic' worldview that Plantinga bases his argument on is a straw man. A materialistic or 'natural' world view is one in which Qualia is acknowledged, it's just that no supernatural intervention is needed in a 'natural' world. And 'if' Plantinga acknowledges Qaulia, in this instance,'beliefs', and since the existence of beliefs that are true would be perfectly in line with evolution, his argument, unless his materialistic world is just an abstract contrivance having no basis in reality, holds no water.

Quote

There seems to be an issue with instinctive beliefs... or beliefs/thoughts contemplated after certain instinctive actions. You would think given M & E those particular beliefs would be reliable... e.g. heightened sense of fear from a predator, uneasiness of heights..

Instinctive behavior is not caused by conscious beliefs,

Quote

Given materialism, what is the probability that all our beliefs including evolution are likely to be true...

Like I said earlier, I'm not claiming that our beliefs are infallibly true, it's neither imperative nor likely that all our beliefs 'must' or even would likely be be true in a materialistic/natural world...That's not part of my argument. We know it's unlikely that 'all' our beliefs are true, but we can, however, be quite confident that some of our beliefs are true and this would be the case even if supernatural intervention as per Plantinga's argument were to be the case.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
February 28, 2014 10:46PM
this doubt arises for naturalists or atheists...

Not practical forms, not immaterialists, not idealists... The EAAN does not imply God is the only solution. It's just an attack on materialism.

A materialistic or 'natural' world view is one in which Qualia is acknowledged, it's just that no supernatural intervention is needed in a 'natural' world. And 'if' Plantinga acknowledges Qaulia, in this instance, 'beliefs', and since the existence of beliefs that are true would be perfectly in line with evolution, his argument, unless his materialistic world is just an abstract contrivance having no basis in reality, holds no water.

In a materialist worldview qualia is assumed to be a physical state. If qualia are non-physical, materialism is false. Plantinga does not need to account for it. The materialist does not need to account for it. It's still consistent to assume it's a physical state. And beliefs that are 'true' are consistent with evolution... That isn't in dispute...

Instinctive behavior is not caused by conscious beliefs

Right. But instinctively we know the bridge would or would not be safe, just like a dog knows this... No reasoning is required...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 02, 2014 02:30AM
Quote

The EAAN does not imply God is the only solution. It's just an attack on materialism.

We're debating Plantinga's argument, the one you opened with and have been using. Plantinga is using his EAAN position to (attempt to) demonstrate that atheism is irrational and 'God' is the solution--- "That is because if God has created us in his image, then even if he fashioned us by some evolutionary means, he would presumably want us to resemble him in being able to know; but then most of what we believe might be true even if our minds have developed from those of the lower animals." [Alvin Plantinga, Evolution vs. Naturalism, 2008]---If you are abandoning Plantinga's argument let me know, and, if you would, give me the solution you have in mind for what 'he sees' as the problem of attaining true beliefs.

Quote

In a materialist worldview qualia is assumed to be a physical state. If qualia are non-physical, materialism is false

That quailia is assumed, by those who hold a naturalist (materialist) world view, to be a physical state is a premise with which I disagree and do not accept. Qualia 'might be' the 'product' of complex arraignments of matter. However, we know the various 'physical states' that matter can exhibit and be observed, measured, and quantified, that is, for instance, solid, liquid, gas, etc, and quailia does not fit any of the known states of matter. Naturalism does not rule out the possible existence of something other than (using your definition of matter) 'particles of frozen energy'. In fact such things as fields, the curvature of space, life itself (and quailia) are fully compatible with a naturalistic world view even though these things themselves are not "matter".

I suspect, like Plantinga, you are appealing to a hypothetical concept of 'materialism' which is not based on anything in the real world as we know it to form your argument. winking smiley

Quote

But instinctively we know the bridge would or would not be safe, just like a dog knows this... No reasoning is required…

Ok! Now I know you're just pulling my leg! LOL ! Just think of the money states, counties, municipalities, etc, could save if they didn't have to pay bridge inspectors and engineers to inspect bridges and tell them if a bridge is safe or not---after all, 'we all' could just look at a bridge and we could tell 'instinctively' whether its safe or not! ;-)
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 03, 2014 06:04PM
We're debating Plantinga's argument, the one you opened with and have been using. Plantinga is using his EAAN position to (attempt to) demonstrate that atheism is irrational and 'God' is the solution---

No. I keep saying this... Plantinga's argument is atheism can be rationally held only if there are strong arguments or evidence. Just like even starism isn't justified. The EAAN is only an attack on materialism...

That quailia is assumed, by those who hold a naturalist (materialist) world view, to be a physical state is a premise with which I disagree and do not accept.

That's fine. It's still consistent to assume quailia is a physical state...

In fact such things as fields, the curvature of space, life itself (and quailia) are fully compatible with a naturalistic world view even though these things themselves are not "matter".

You don't know that...

I suspect, like Plantinga, you are appealing to a hypothetical concept of 'materialism' which is not based on anything in the real world as we know it to form your argument.

Quote

In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that all things are composed of material, and that all emergent phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material properties and interactions. In other words, the theory claims that our reality consists entirely of physical matter that is the sole cause of every possible occurrence, including human thought, feeling, and action.

[en.wikipedia.org]

I'm appealing to the most common concept of materialism.

Ok! Now I know you're just pulling my leg! LOL ! Just think of the money states, counties, municipalities, etc, could save if they didn't have to pay bridge inspectors and engineers to inspect bridges and tell them if a bridge is safe or not---after all, 'we all' could just look at a bridge and we could tell 'instinctively' whether its safe or not! ;-)

The point I was making is that we were instinctive creatures far before we were rational creatures, and in some sense we 'knew' stuff about our environment before we became thinking beings...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 05, 2014 12:30AM
Quote

We're debating Plantinga's argument, the one you opened with and have been using. Plantinga is using his EAAN position to (attempt to) demonstrate that atheism is irrational and 'God' is the solution------isle

No. I keep saying this... Plantinga's argument is atheism can be rationally held only if there are strong arguments or evidence. Just like even starism isn't justified. The EAAN is only an attack on materialism…

Then it appears as you've been changing and jumping back and forth between your arguments, for instance, look at your title for this topic, "Is Atheism [not materialism] irrational? Plantinga thinks so…" You were, at the start, using Plantinga and his arguments, as the basis for your argument that "Atheism" is irrational. Look at your very first post once again…it's virtually all about demonstrating that it is irrational for atheists not to believe in God, or to put it another way, to believe there is no God. Atheism and the 'hard' materialism you talk about are not synonymous, in fact, check out the modern philosophers who are atheists and you'll find among them a multitude of varied and different concepts of materialism. As far as the need for strong evidence in order to have a rational disbelief in something---Are you a believer in solipsism?

Quote

In fact such things as fields, the curvature of space, life itself (and quailia) are fully compatible with a naturalistic world view even though these things themselves are not "matter".---isle

You don't know that…

To the extent that we can 'know' something, I think most reasonable men can, with confidence, say that things like the curvature of space, life itself, and quailia cannot be 'reduced' to particles of matter, they don't have 'mass' when at rest like a particle of matter is required to have in order to be considered 'matter'.

Quote

I'm appealing to the most common concept of materialism.

Read the rest of the wiki article and you'll find that you are appealing to an older 'historical concept' of materialism. Read the 'modern' concept/s of materialism from that same article. You'll find them quite varied and different.

Quote

The point I was making is that we were instinctive creatures far before we were rational creatures, and in some sense we 'knew' stuff about our environment before we became thinking beings…

Were drifting away from the topic but it appears as though you're appealing to a unique concept of knowledge because 'knowledge' requires at least three things which are not found in instinct. They are belief and justification, and those two require conscious awareness. Do you really think insects, for instance, are consciously aware of any beliefs that they need to justify when they are acting instinctively? If not, then no knowledge (as it's generally understood) is involved in their instinctive actions.

Getting back to the 'truth' of our beliefs, even 'if' our beliefs where 'somehow' able to be reduced to particles of matter, it would still be completely consistent with evolution to say that if a particular arraignment of matter results in our acting in a certain way (behavior), natural selection would, in any biological organism, 'select for' arraignments of matter (beliefs) which conformed to reality (true beliefs) since they would be more apt to insure the survival of the organism than would beliefs that did not conform to reality. Since such false beliefs 'at some point' would likely conflict with reality, and when that happened it could very well result in the demise of the organism. Behavior based on an arraignment of matter, that is, 'a belief that conformed to reality', would be an evolutionary advantage.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 05, 2014 02:09AM
Then it appears as you've been changing and jumping back and forth between your arguments..

No, it doesn't appear that way at all... If you actually read the article and my first post you would notice the different arguments being presented, and only one argument that showed how atheism is irrational... Another argument, in which Plantinga agreed is problematic for Theism, and that is the evidential problem of evil supports the atheist position... I OTOH just wanted to focus on the EAAN because it's new to me... You confused the EAAN as an argument for Theism, and from the start I disagreed this could be done... How? By saying it's perfectly consistent to adopt methodological materialism... Now, if pages down you still think I was defending Plantinga tooth and nail against your attacks, you just haven't been following the conversation that closely...

As far as the need for strong evidence in order to have a rational disbelief in something---Are you a believer in solipsism?

No, and it's irrelevant. Atheism is irrational because the metaphysical claim that we live in a world absent of God does not have logical proof or material evidence.

To the extent that we can 'know' something, I think most reasonable men can, with confidence, say that things like the curvature of space, life itself, and quailia cannot be 'reduced' to particles of matter, they don't have 'mass' when at rest like a particle of matter is required to have in order to be considered 'matter'.

The QEF is a 'physical field' a property that can be quantified. Materialists also consider dark matter/energy physical 'stuff'. And if, Islander, quailia is not reducible to a material property... most materialists will tell you it doesn't exist...

Were drifting away from the topic but it appears as though you're appealing to a unique concept of knowledge because 'knowledge' requires at least three things which are not found in instinct. They are belief and justification, and those two require conscious awareness. Do you really think insects, for instance, are consciously aware of any beliefs that they need to justify when they are acting instinctively? If not, then no knowledge (as it's generally understood) is involved in their instinctive actions.

No! This IS on topic!

I'm surprised you don't believe in instinctive knowledge. e.g. We know dogs have instinctive knowledge by observing their behavior. And yet no language, therefore... no reasoning or justification for the dog... All I was saying is given M & E you would think this instinctive knowledge would be reliable...

Getting back to the 'truth' of our beliefs, even 'if' our beliefs where 'somehow' able to be reduced to particles of matter, it would still be completely consistent with evolution to say that if a particular arraignment of matter results in our acting in a certain way (behavior), natural selection would, in any biological organism, 'select for' arraignments of matter (beliefs) which conformed to reality (true beliefs) since they would be more apt to insure the survival of the organism than would beliefs that did not conform to reality.

And this is exactly what I thought before I read Plantinga's argument...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 06, 2014 04:36PM
"Atheism is irrational because the metaphysical claim that we live in a world absent of God does not have logical proof or material evidence." -Tuk

Exactly like theism.

Exactly.


I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record every time I comment on this thread. But I still have no understanding how that statement can not be applied equally to theism.

Theism is irrational because the metaphysical claim that we live in a world where God exists does not have logical proof or material evidence.

Is this statement not equally true? If not, how so?

I'm not a philosophy major. Could it be explained simply?

.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 06, 2014 05:00PM
Yes. Theism is irrational. It's only confusing you because Plantinga argues for RE where both atheism and theism can be rationally held...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 07, 2014 09:29AM
"RE"?

.
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 07, 2014 05:47PM
Tuk, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree over what is required to call a belief 'knowledge' verses a 'belief' or 'instinct'. You consider the instinctive behavior of an organism to be behavior based on 'knowledge', naturally, as I explained earlier, I have a different understanding of what constitutes 'knowledge'. The same with the terms 'materialism' and 'matter' and those differences could make for an interesting discussion on their own, but, in my opinion, they are drifting away from the 'core' of of this discussion which, based on the title of this thread, is whether Plantinga is correct that 'atheism', if 'materialism' and 'evolution' are both true, is an irrational belief. And the second point being that if they are both true, it's unlikely that our beliefs would be true (conform to reality) since evolution (I think he is referring to natural selection) would not select for beliefs that conform to reality. For the sake of argument, we'll go with your definitions of the above terms.

This, in my opinion, is where Plantinga starts to go wrong---"Because if this belief — this structure — had a totally different content (even, say, if it was a belief that there is no beer in the fridge) but had the same neurophysiological properties, it would still have caused that same action of going to the fridge. This means that the content of the belief isn’t a cause of the behavior. As far as causing the behavior goes, the content of the belief doesn’t matter."---Plantinga seems to miss the point that the neurophysiological properties would respond differently based on the content of the belief. The content of the belief would, physically, according to your definition of materialism, be composed of matter.

Plantinga repeats his error here;

"GG: That does seem to be a hard conclusion to accept. But won’t evolution get the materialist out of this difficulty? For our species to have survived, presumably many, if not most, of our beliefs must be true — otherwise, we wouldn’t be functional in a dangerous world.

AP: Evolution will have resulted in our having beliefs that are adaptive; that is, beliefs that cause adaptive actions. But as we’ve seen, if materialism is true, the belief does not cause the adaptive action by way of its content It causes that action by way of its neurophysiological properties. Hence it doesn’t matter what the content of the belief is, and it doesn’t matter whether that content is true or false.
" But---as has been shown, the content of the belief does affect the behavior of the organism and natural selection would be more apt to select for traits in an organism that would make it possible to form true beliefs, 'beliefs that conform to reality', as that would give it an evolutionary advantage as far as surviving in the real world.

Quote

And this is exactly what I thought before I read Plantinga's argument…---tuk

But now you don't?
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 07, 2014 06:53PM
I'll have to continue this next week, Islander... There is a lot I want to respond to but don't have the time right now...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 07, 2014 09:29PM
No problem, tuk. Have a good weekend! smileys with beer
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 11, 2014 07:52PM
Tuk, I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree over what is required to call a belief 'knowledge' verses a 'belief' or 'instinct'. You consider the instinctive behavior of an organism to be behavior based on 'knowledge', naturally, as I explained earlier, I have a different understanding of what constitutes 'knowledge'.

I think it makes sense to claim humans and animals 'instinctively know' things.

but, in my opinion, they are drifting away from the 'core' of of this discussion which, based on the title of this thread, is whether Plantinga is correct that 'atheism', if 'materialism' and 'evolution' are both true, is an irrational belief.

Atheism is irrational because it's not properly justified. He did think an agnostic position is rational.

The argument is that if you believe in both materialism and evolution you have a defeater; it's self refuting. Regardless if you believe in God or not... You can be both a materialist and evolutionist and still believe in God. You won't be a Christian, but it's still consistent...

This, in my opinion, is where Plantinga starts to go wrong---"Because if this belief — this structure — had a totally different content (even, say, if it was a belief that there is no beer in the fridge) but had the same neurophysiological properties, it would still have caused that same action of going to the fridge. This means that the content of the belief isn’t a cause of the behavior. As far as causing the behavior goes, the content of the belief doesn’t matter."---Plantinga seems to miss the point that the neurophysiological properties would respond differently based on the content of the belief. The content of the belief would, physically, according to your definition of materialism, be composed of matter.

He doesn't miss it, he states it, and it's called Epiphenomenalism. And AP attacks semantic (logic) epiphenomenalism. AP does think content effects belief, but not truth...

Quote

Evolution will select for belief-producing processes that produce beliefs with adaptive neurophysiological properties, but not for belief-producing processes that produce true beliefs.

And an easy example would be the Atheist's claim that God does not exist. We know belief in God has evolutionary advantages but clearly from the atheists POV God doesn't exist and Theism is false... So even if beliefs do have an effect, irrational or false beliefs can produce evolutionary adaptive behavior...

Quote

But now you don't?

I don't know what to think... But this isn't an argument against atheism as much as it's an argument against a particular position a lot of atheists accept. I still know the easiest out is to just accept methodological materialism...
Re: Is Atheism Irrational? Plantinga thinks so...
March 13, 2014 05:31PM
"I think it makes sense to claim humans and animals 'instinctively know' things."---tuk

Like I said, we each have a different understanding of what constitutes 'knowledge' and that would make for an interesting discussion for another day. In this discussion, we're talking about 'true beliefs' as knowledge. That is, when we make a proposition about the world, and believe it's true, such as, I 'know' that water freezes at 32 F, that belief (if it is true) conforms to reality. That's the knowledge we have been discussing here. There is another kind of knowing which is quite different. For instance, I instinctively know how to breath, or I know how to keep my balance, the knowing how to do something does not involve a true belief about the world. Another instance of what some people might say is an example instinctive knowledge, would be an irrational fear of snakes, but this is an instinctive 'emotional reaction' and does not involve knowledge or belief, in fact the person can know (rationally) that a particular snake is harmless, yet still have the same emotional reaction to it 'as if' it were a deadly snake.

"Atheism is irrational because it's not properly justified. He did think an agnostic position is rational."---tuk

That's a premise that I do not accept, since the existence or non-existence of God is underdetermined. In philosophical/scientific terms, that means that the evidence that is available is not sufficient to determine which belief we 'should' hold. Believing one or the other is not irrational since we can't say one should believe God exists, or that one should believe that God doesn't exist, nor would it be irrational to reserve one's judgement (agnosticism). It would probably be irrational to say one 'knows' that God exists, or that one 'knows' that God doesn't exist. Plantinga, however, thinks he can logically demonstrate that 'atheism' is irrational if one is an extreme materialist and believes evolution is true at the same time. 'That' assertion is what we are debating and thus far, I find his arguments to be not persuasive at all.

"This, in my opinion, is where Plantinga starts to go wrong"---"Because [according to Plantinga] if this belief — this structure — had a totally different content (even, say, if it was a belief that there is no beer in the fridge) but had the same neurophysiological properties, it would still have caused that same action of going to the fridge. This means that the content of the belief isn’t a cause of the behavior. As far as causing the behavior goes, the content of the belief doesn’t matter."---"Plantinga seems to miss the point that the neurophysiological properties would respond differently based on the content of the belief. The content of the belief would, physically, according to your definition of materialism, be composed of matter. ---isle

He doesn't miss it, he states it, and it's called Epiphenomenalism. And AP attacks semantic (logic) epiphenomenalism. AP does think content effects belief, but not truth…---tuk

There seems to be a contradiction in what he claims, because he asserted that the content of a belief, whether (per his example) the belief that there is a beer in the refrigerator or there is no beer in the refrigerator doesn't matter, in his words, "This means that the content of the belief isn’t a cause of the behavior."

The content of a belief is the belief, in other words one can't hold a belief with no content. I think Plantinga is intentionally or unwittingly using the term 'materialism' and subtly giving its meaning a fluidity of convenience in order to form his argument.

"Evolution will select for belief-producing processes that produce beliefs with adaptive neurophysiological properties, but not for belief-producing processes that produce true beliefs.---"Plantinga [edited. originally had that attributed to isle (me)]

And an easy example would be the Atheist's claim that God does not exist. We know belief in God has evolutionary advantages but clearly from the atheists POV God doesn't exist and Theism is false... So even if beliefs do have an effect, irrational or false beliefs can produce evolutionary adaptive behavior…---tuk"

That's an example of grossly misunderstanding the process of natural selection--- The algorithm of natural selection is such that over time, with changing environmental pressures, beliefs that affect behavior and conform to reality, will, in the long run be selected for. Beliefs that do not conform to reality, under changing environmental pressures, will likely, at some point, come in conflict with reality---and the resulting behavior can be disastrous for that creature and it will be eliminated. The way natural selection works does not mean that no false beliefs can exist, or that a false belief in certain environments and/or under certain conditions, can't possibly be helpful. I'm not arguing against that, nor do I think any reasonable person whether atheist, materialist, or theist, can or is arguing that accepting the reality of natural selection means that all of our beliefs must, if natural selection is true, under all conditions also be true.

I think, in this instance, Plantinga is simply running around in circles trying his best to make an argument out of nothing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2014 07:02PM by islander.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login


This forum powered by Phorum

Cookies Consent Policy & Privacy Statement. All Rights Reserved. SelectSmart® is a registered trademark. | Contact SelectSmart.com | Advertise on SelectSmart.com | This site is for sale!